Design Chronology Turkey-Draft

Pelin Derviş, Gökhan Akçura

Studio-X Istanbul

“The 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial initiated the development of a platform and network that tries to observe design in Turkey since the Ottoman reform of 1839 from within a variety of different fields. The project will go on for many years…to observe the internal dynamics of the various fields on a national and global scale and to try and identify cross-disciplinary relationships. It also attempts to observe mundane aspects of our daily life through a design perspective. … we [do not] claim to have been able to compose a perfectly complete chronology on those topics that we were able to cover thoroughly. We only aim to provide a platform for dialogue that we can continue to build upon. In other words, Curious Assembly seeks to spark debate and reach others who may partake in these dialogues by highlighting an interconnected selection. …The Archive of the Ephemeral…tries to create new connections between people, places and objects, most of which have not survived, and thus offer new perspectives and, in a way, provide a chance to trace old connections.” – PD and GA


Design Chronology Turkey-Draft presents the first phase of a major multi-year research project by more than 50 experts studying Design in Turkey since the Ottoman reform of 1839 from within a variety of different fields. The group playfully calls itself the Curious Assembly and focuses on topics such as packaging, lighting, graphics, communications and advertising, housing, furniture, music, toys, landscaping, health, industrial buildings, ceramics and non-governmental organizations, defense, cosmetics, textiles/garments, household goods, and transportation where even though a great deal of literature exists on some, they have not been thoroughly viewed through a design perspective until now. An innovative element of the research is entitled Archive of the Ephemeral, using an ever expanding historical collection of family photographs as a highly detailed contextual record of the history of design in Turkey. In addition to operating as an active research platform during the biennial with a series of workshops on each design field, the project is also producing a special design collection as a permanent part of the library Studio-X Istanbul for future use by designers and historians.